Tag Archive: pull-aparts


14 Jan 2017

Sleep the night before was good, but I had nothing in the house to eat, so I went to the gym on an empty stomach and picked up some chocolate milk on the way for an intra.

Log Clean and Press (medium rests, small diameter log)

120 x 1 (bigger log warmup)
80 x 3 (switched to the small log at this point)
124 x 1
164 x 1
*wraps, sleeves on*
199 x FAIL, no clean
199 x FAIL, no clean

notes: it had been a while since log, so I wanted to test it out. But other people had gotten there earlier and were using the main log, so I switched to the small one. The small diameter actually made it much harder, I couldn’t clean it properly. So when it got heavy, I just couldn’t do it. With it being so small, I can’t comfortably get it up against my body so I can roll it up my chest like I normally do. So it was now a few inches out from my body and like trying to power curl 200 pounds, which meant I didn’t get much vertical on it, and it landed just under my breast bone, which is not enough to go into a pressing motion. For this to work, I would have needed to either:
a. swing it in a wider arc like I would with a barbell (though I haven’t cleaned a BB that heavy I don’t think), or
b. drop my body low to get under it, like some Oly type stuff. Which I have no experience in.

So… I couldn’t clean the little log once it hits 200. Lesson learned.

Closegrip Bench Press (shared the bench with someone, so long rests)

135 x 5
185 x 5
*wraps, sleeves*
225 x 5
225 x 5
225 x 5
225 x 5
225 x 5

DB Bench Press (short rest)

40s x 10
65s x 10

notes: at that point I decided that since I had done the same exercise just yesterday, I needed to switch it up

DB Flys (short rests, slow reps, pronated grip)

22.5s x 10
22.5s x 10
22.5s x 10

T Bar Row (short rests, elbows low)

1 plate + 1 quarter plate x 15
1 plate + 1 quarter plate x 15
1 plate + 1 quarter plate x 15
1 plate + 1 quarter plate x 15
1 plate + 1 quarter plate x 15

Superset: DB Hammer Curls & Band Pullaparts & Band Pushdowns (short rests)

40s x 12 / 15 pullaparts / 50 pushdowns
40s x 12 / 20 pullaparts / 50 pushdowns
40s x 12 / 20 pullaparts / 50 pushdowns

notes: the really high reps on the band work really made my body ache. my triceps were dying during the sets, but now, sitting here typing this, my rear delts are dead from the pullaparts

Advertisements

Mar 13, 2015

Only had an hour with the trainer, so had to make it count.

Cleans

I wanted my PT to check my form and tell me what was going on. Sets of 3 reps of 135 used to be possible, but I was almost bombing out of 140 now.

We tried some with 95 pounds, then we tried some with just the bar. Something was messed up with my shoulder, it was pushing the bar path out FARTHER from me, and slowing me down, burning up more energy, ultimately causing me to fail. I just couldn’t bring the bar right up in to my collarbone any more. When I went empty bar and tried to really set my scapula back and bring it in… my shoulders got lopsided. It just looked like crap.

So… for now she demoted me down to Kettlebell Cleans. Once I get the hang of those, I can get promoted back up to the barbell again. I gotta start from scratch until I figure out what my major malfunction is.

Kettlebell Cleans

30 lb x 8 per arm
45 lb x 8/8
50 x 8/8
50 x 8/8

notes: she was happier with my form near the end. not great, but better.

Superset Face Pulls & Pullaparts (using heavy resistance band, 30 sec rest)

20 face pulls, 15 pullaparts
20, 15
20, 15

Z Press (butt up on folded yoga mat)

45 x 5
75 x 5
115 x 6
115 x 4, then 3 assisted reps

notes: I am actually happy I am making some headway into doing these with 115. Gotta keep building.

Shoulder Complex: Cable Front Raises, Side Raises, Rear Delt Flys

20 x 10/10/10
20 x 10/10/10
20 x 10/10/10

notes: cables hurt a lot more than dumbbells and machines lol. I noticed again a pronounced lack of range on the RD flys. My joints were hurting during the whole thing. It kept me from really advancing on the weights. I might not do these complexes again with cables.

Superset DB Curls & Straight Bar Pushdowns

30s x 20 / 120 x 30
30s x 15 DROP 20s x 6 / 120 x 30

post-workout: LISS elliptical

I missed the Thursday workout and needed to catch up, so I did my compound work at Noon, and then some shoulder health work at 4:30 PM.

To accommodate the fact I was working out twice, I dropped the volume to a minimum on the Noon workout, just one top set and one backoff set.

Noon Powerlifting

warm-up: nada

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

80 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, 3 minimal rest)
130 x 5
180 x 3
205 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
235 x 1 (belt on, increase rest to 3 min)

259 x 6 @RPE9

245 x 6 @RPE8

Bench Press

bar x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
55 x 5
90 x 5
125 x 3
145 x 2
160 x 1

180 x 6 @RPE<8 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

165 x 6 @RPE<8

Deadlift (barefoot)

100 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
165 x 5
225 x 3
260 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
295 x 1 (belt on, rest went up to 3 min)

325 x 6 @RPE8

315 x 6 @RPE8

It was a good thing I minimized the volume – I was pretty short on time and had to take off. There was no work today but I had to run errands before the late afternoon workout.

As well, one side effect of having such irregular sleep over the holidays meant that my low back had not fully recharged – it got pretty sore during the workout. What I really need are really long marathon sleeps in my bed, not catnaps throughout the day.

Also, squats kinda hurt because I had cut up my heel a bit – I build up excess dead skin and scrub it off and went too deep so my heel was bleeding. Putting pressure on it while I walked was no fun, and it was also distracting during the squats.

PM Shoulder Health Workout

Same workout as last week, just a little more compressed for time.

Superset Scapula Stretch Pulldowns and Rotator Cuff Warmup (no real rest b/w sets, back and forth)

12 plates x 8 / 15 lb DB taken through ROM 15 times per arm
13 plates x 8 / ROTO
14 plates x 8 / ROTO

Stretched Rows (30 sec rest)

12 plates x 8
14 plates x 8
16 plates x 8

Superset Minor Chest Dips and DB Rear Delt Flyes (60s rest)

10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20

Superset DB Hex Press and Band Pullaparts (60s rest; flex each pullapart at peak contraction for 1 second)

45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts
45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts
45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts

notes: Used a heavier resistance band than last time.

Superset DB 6-Way and Band Over&Backs (60 s rest)

10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs

Prone Leg Raises (straight legs, 30s rest)

25, 25, 25, 25

Planks (30s rest)

30 sec
30 sec
30 sec
30 sec

Ugh, my throat is sore and I feel shaky. Hope I am not fighting off a bug. 2 workouts in one day might have been ill-advised.

Cut Day 27

My trainer prescribed a good shoulder health day for myself – exercises that I have done before that feel good on my shoulder girdle, and gave me a pump while I was at it. I took some John Meadows routines and mashed them together. He might not approve, but hey, it is my mix

warmup

take a DB through ROM for my rotator cuff, 30 seconds rest b/w sets

15 lb DB done 15 times per side; 3 sets

Scapula Stretch Pulldowns (90 sec rest b/w sets)

120 x 8
130 x 8
140 x 8
150 x 8
160 x 8
170 x 8

notes: These are simple enough, widegrip pulldowns, but you let your arms extend at the top all the way, until you feel a stretch in your scapulae, pulling your arms out of the sockets a bit and starting to pull you off of the seat pad. Not knowing what this cable machine was like, I started low and worked my way up.

Stretched Rows (90 sec rest)

150 x 8
150 x 8
150 x 8

notes: Continuing in the same thought process of stretching my shoulders out first, these are a bit more complicated. You put a narrowgrip attachment on the lat pulldown machine, stand up and back from it, brace one foot on the seat pad, and row the attachment into your chest. But on the negative you let your arms extend all the way, until you can drop your head down between your arms. You look like an idiot, but it works. After these first two movements plus the warmup, my shoulders felt loose, AND I had a really good pump going on in my back from such a wide-extending ROM. Bonus!

Superset Minor Chest Dips and DB Rear Delt Flyes (90s rest)

10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20

notes: Minor chest dips are when you keep your arms straight and SINK down into your shoulder girdle, pressing yourself up with only your chest. Doing the RD flyes, I could tell right away my right shoulder was sore, but I also felt like this movement was not making it worse, merely exposing where the stiffness is. Don’t need to go heavy, just need to work the cobwebs out of it.

Superset DB Hex Press and Band Pullaparts (90s rest; flex each pullapart at peak contraction for 1 second)

50s x 10 / 20 pullaparts
50s x 10 / 20 pullaparts
50s x 10 / 20 pullaparts

notes: Hex Press means you mash the DBs together as you press. Right away, my shoulder groaned from this. I didn’t want to risk this pressing movement aggravating it, so I cut one set out and raised the reps on the pullaparts up from 10 to 20. This transferred more work to my rear delts, but I think they haven’t been getting enough to do lately and its been unbalancing.

Superset DB 6-Way and Band Over&Backs (90 s rest)

10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs

notes: I SAY I am doing 20 over and backs, but by this point in the workout, my shoulders are so pumped, I need a few breaks during the second and third set! This is why I love this particular Meadows workout, it pumps the hell out of my shoulders with no weight! I have done it maybe 6 times, and each time I do it, I can NEVER make it through those over and backs at the end. The sequencing of the movements is just genius, it works quite well on me, the whole thing as a package.

Prone Leg Raises (straight legs, 30s rest)

25, 25, 25, 25

notes: Again, I had to take a few breaks, but did not end the set until I hit 25.

Creampuff Ab Machine (30s rest)

160 x 25
160 x 25
160 x 25
160 x 25

post-workout: 15 min LISS on the elliptical, staying in the “endurance” zone

Cut Day 17

I will keep fiddling around with my assistance day, so I can make it what I need it to be.

I felt rather toasted from 2 nights of chitty sleep, so I lowered the volume as I went through the workout, and cut out the Farmers Walks. But I still wanted to play with the hex bar

warm-up: nada

Superset Overhead Press and Assisted Pullups (pullups assisted for 1/3 BW, 30-60 sec rest)

45 x 5 / 10 hammergrip
60 x 5 / 6 widegrip (these felt bad on the shoulder, no more of that today)
90 x 3 / 10 hammer
100 x 2 / 8 hammer
115 x 1 / 8 hammer

move to straight sets of OHP

125 x 6 @RPE8 (inc rest to 3 min)
125 x 6 @RPE8
125 x 6 @RPE8
125 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: After Set 4, I stopped. I still felt like I had a lot of pop left in me, but the bar speed was slowing down and the form was getting a bit off, so I called it.

Band Pullaparts (60 sec rest)

20, 20, 20

notes: would flex for a second at the peak contraction on each rep, and try not to lose tension. it wasn’t the strongest resistance band I had ever seen, but it was a-ite.

DB Hammer Curls (90s rest)

40s x 12
45s x 10
45s x 9.5

notes: I thought I was going to be able to work up to the 50s, but no dice. After the third set I had a good pump going in the forearms.

OK, so I wanted to keep gaining experience with the frame (and the thick handles), so I decided to shrug with it instead of a farmers walk.

Hex Bar Shrugs (thick grip, up and back on every rep, 90s rest)

190 x 12
240 x 12
240 x 12
240 x 12

notes: never tried this before. felt good! I could def go heavier, but 240 felt pretty good so I stayed there.

And then F it! Time to go home, and see if it was the cocoa powder that was screwing me.  Damn you Theobromine!  It’s Christmas!!  😦

11/27 Extra Shoulders

Third shoulder workout of the week!  Meadows-style.  But the PT joined me 🙂

 

Smith Machine Press (traded sets back and forth, flex hard for 1 second at peak contraction)

50+bar x 12

50+bar x 12

50+bar x 12

50+bar x 12

IMG_5037

Superset Minor Chest Dips &  Rear Delt DB Flys  (traded sets)

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips w 30 lb DB bw legs / 10s x 20

10 dips w weighted vest / 10s x 20

10 dips w weighted vest / 10s x 20

IMG_5044

Flat DB Hex Press & Band Pull-Aparts (traded sets, flex pull-aparts for 1 second at peak contraction, keep constant tension on pull-aparts)

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

IMG_5054

IMG_5070

Superset 6-Way & Over and Backs (traded sets, keep constant tension)

10s x 10 / OB x 20

10s x 10 / OB x 20

10s x 10 / OB x 20

IMG_5079

IMG_5091

8/27 Extra Shoulders

 

OK, this would be my third shoulder workout this week.  But in some ways, I was starving for some activity and it felt like forever.  I decided that instead of a heavy pushing day, this would be a pump-oriented, shoulder-health type of workout.  I went back to a John Meadows Pump workout I knew was sure to burn me out, and threw in an Arm finisher at the end.

 

Machine Press (hammergrip, 60 second rest, flex hard for 1 second at peak contraction)

50 x 12

70 x 12

90 x 12

90 x 10

90 x 10

90 x 9

notes:  good to get the shoulders warmed up

Superset Minor Chest Dips & Incline Rear Delt DB Flys  (60 sec rest b/w supersets)

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

notes:  these feel light and no big deal, but I know from past experience that this lays the groundwork for later devastation.  It all has to happen in order for max effect.  Please be aware that a “minor chest dip” means your arms stay straight and you just sink down into your scapulae, then flex up just using your chest muscles.

Flat DB Hex Press & Band Pull-Aparts (60 sec rest b/w supersets, flex pull-aparts for 1 second at peak contraction, keep constant tension on pull-aparts)

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

notes:  it’s at right about this time where the burning sensation starts to kick in.  I am groaning by the end of the pull-aparts, and that 60 second rest burns so bad, I can’t just let my arms hang down, I have to hold on to something and stretch my shoulders out.

Superset 6-Way & Over and Backs (60 sec rest, keep constant tension if you can!)

10s x 10 / 11… 4

10s x 7.5 / 9… 11

10s x 10 / 7… 9… 4

notes:  It is at this point where the burning in my shoulders is so bad, I am fighting failure.  The weights are nothing, but I can’t do 10 6-ways and 20 over and backs to save my life!  I kept failing and needing a second to take the tension off, and most of the time I had to stop because I needed that 60 seconds because my shoulders felt so weak.  But then about 5 seconds into my break, the burning would replace the weakness and I needed to stretch.  I almost needed to start the next set again just to make the burning go away.  You don;t need much weight to kill your shoulders, because this trashed me.

 

After taking 5 minutes to recompose myself, I went on to do my Arm Finisher:  3 bicep exercises for 5 reps each, then dropset the same 3 exercises again, then 3 tricep exercises 5 reps each then dropset the same 3 tricep exercises.  Then go RIGHT back to biceps again, ad nauseum.  Basically a neverending arm gauntlet for 5 rounds.  Zero rest.

Arm Gauntlet:  Twisting Curls/Hammer Curls/Pinwheel Curls, drop weight, repeat —> DB Skullcrushers, 2-Hand Extension, Pronated Kickbacks, drop weight, repeat

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 20s x 5 —> END

 

notes: whew!  The shoulder workout pounded my delts into dough.  You could make pizza out of my muscles, and this arm workout put the crust on that pizza.  Again, zero rest, constant repping.  Light weight sure, but by the end, that’s not noticeable.  My triceps could maybe have handled a little more, but in the interest of expediency, these were the dumbbells I could hoard to myself in a busy gym, and even then by the 5th round this guy was making sad faces at me so I let him have my 40 lb and used the 55 lb for the dropset extensions.

I like doing pronated kickbacks because I get a better contraction in my triceps over regular kickbacks.  Everyone is different, this is just what works for me.

post-workout:  20 min LISS elliptical, 70% resistance, 9/10 incline

 

7/27 Deload Chest

Man, I miss caffeine!  Needed to stay occupied today.

Went for a Spin class, did that for an hour.  Not much to say, stand-in teacher today, did not like her.  Bad cues.

After Spin, decided to do some more.  Please remember, it’s Deload week, so no heavy sets, just light stuff, stay active but no strain.

Pre-Workout:  60 min Spin

Bench Press

Superset Bench and Rotator Cuff Work (no rest between supersets)

70 x 5 / over & backs w/ resistance band x 8

85 x 5 / o&b

105 x 5 / o&b

 

Assistance

Cable Crossovers (30 sec rest)

77 x 10

77 x 10

77 x 10

Overhead Press (30 sec rest)

55 x 5

55 x 5

55 x 5

Assisted Pullups (assisted for 1/3 BW, 30 sec rest, alternating grips)

8 Widegrip

10 Underhand grip

6 Hammergrip

Closegrip Bench Press (30 sec rest)

115 x 15

115 x 12

115 x 12

Preacher Curl Machine (30 sec rest)

50 x 15

50 x 15

50 x 15

Pull Aparts (heavy resistance band, 20 sec rest only, 1 sec hold at peak contraction, constant tension)

15, 12, 12

It was time… time for the shoulder and chest workout that kicked my butt last week!  I got an extra day of rest in between my previous chest and shoulder day, got a nice empty office gym to myself, and got to work.

 

Superset Standing OHP and Over&Backs – (60-120s rest)

55 x 5 / O&B x 8

70 x 5 / OB8

85 x 5 / OB8

100 x 3 / OB8

110 x 3 / OB8

125 x 7 / OB8

notes:  Feeling good!  Still using the cambered bar, still cleaning it from the floor to start.  Stopped when I couldn’t press it up in one smooth motion – there should be no hitches.

 

Superset Weighted Minor Chest Dips & Incline Rear Delt DB Fly (30s rest)

25 x 10 / 15s x 20

25 x 10 / 15s x 20

25 x 10 / 15s x 20

25 x 10 / 15s x 20

notes:  I wished in my heart that this was only 3 sets, but I got stubborn and pushed my way through it.  Still need to rest a few times during the flys, I find them tough!

 

Superset Hex Press & Pull Aparts w/ Band  (45s rest, for the pull aparts, flex for 1 second at full contraction)

55s x 10 / 10 pullaparts

55s x 10 / 10 pullaparts

55s x 10 / 10 pullaparts

55s x 10 / 10 pullaparts

notes:  This is where I died last week.  got through it this week, but it was not easy.

 Superset 6-Ways and Over & Backs  (45s rest)

10s x 10 / O&B x 20

10s x 10 / O&B x 20

10s x 10 / O&B x 20

notes:  OK… I DIED during these.  It took a lot of gut check to do all 3 sets, though not as bad as last week.  My rotator cuffs were on fire after every superset!

 Most of this workout is foundational mobility stuff, but based on hard it burns, it is obviously where I need to be right now.  I still do presses for strength, but follow it up with some really healthy moves, that I will be thanking myself for down the line.

 

I find the arrogance of some people in the gym hilarious.  As a recovering fat dude, I used to be ashamed to go to the gym, and when I did go, I would see some people look at me with smirks.  Don’t think I didn’t notice.  But I kept working.  While they texted, I was doing another set.  While they were chatting it up, I just did another set.

Finally after quite some time putting in this work ethic, I started to look different.  Nowadays in the gym, in multiple gyms, I run into some guys, and I recognize the arrogant type right away.  I long ago learned what the guys look like who prey on the ones they feel are weaker, who look down on people and condescend.  So now I see them hovering around the edges, waiting to talk to me.  I know it makes me sound arrogant too, but when they do talk I always give my honest and helpful thoughts back.  I just don’t act like I am kin to them.  They try and buddy up, and I am non-responsive.

I long ago learned that work is work, no matter what you look like, and the arrogant dudes bleed just like the humble guys do.  I was hungry when people thought I knew nothing, and I’m even hungrier now that people think I have something to teach them.  BIG said it above, my hunger is unexplainable.


Shoulders, some chest

During this workout, I was also running around spotting a coworker and checking his form on his own exercises, so I couldn’t tightly control my rest periods.  no biggie.  He is getting strong!!

Superset Standing Overhead Press & Over & Backs w Heavy Resistance Band  (rest varied)

55 x 5 / O&B x 8
65 x 5 / 8
80 x 5 / 8
100 x 5 / 8
115 x 3 / 8
130 x 6 / 8

notes:  Happy at the AMRAP set!  PR!  Best I have ever done.  The gym is small and resources are limited, and my coworker was doing bench press (Monday chest day!  haha) so I had to use the cambered bar for my OHPs, and also had to clean it from the floor to starting position.  I was worried this would gas me for the set, but I did exceedingly well 🙂  I will assume the cambered bar was 25 pounds!

Superset Minor Chest Dips & Incline Rear Delt DB Flys (rest varies)

12 / 15s x 20

12 / 15s x 20

12 / 15s x 20

12 / 15s x 20

notes:  supersetting with chest work allows me to flex my pecs during the flys to squeeze a few extra reps out!

 

Superset Hex Press & Pull-Aparts w Resistance Band (rest varies, for pull-aparts you bring hands away with straight arms to form a T, then flex your rear delts and hold for 1 second, keep constant tension)

50s x 10 / 12

50s x 10 / 12

50s x 10 / 12

50s x 10 / 12

notes:  Hex Presses mean you mash the dumbbells together (length to length, not end against end).  Also something I call a closegrip DB press.  50s were easy on the pressing work, but the dumbbells were circular disc type weights, so keeping them steady and controlled as I mashed them together was most of the work.  If they were straight edge polyhedron kind of ends it would be easier, oh well.  Resistance band work feels great on my shoulders!  taxing but good!

 

Superset 6 Ways & Over & Backs w Band (rest varies)

10s x 10 / 20

10s x 10 / 20

10s x 10 / 20

notes:  First time doing the 6 Way exercise!  I tried 15s…. NOPE!  My rotator cuffs told me stop after 1 rep.  10 pound DBs felt much better.  Lots of light weight used in this workout, and it still did the job quite well!